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In 1653, three men from Oyster Bay, Richard Holbrook, Robert Williams and Daniel Whitehead, purchased a parcel of land from the Matinecock tribe. This parcel has since come to be known as the "First Purchase" and included land bordered by Cold Spring Harbor on the west, Northport Harbor on the east, what is now known as Old Country Road to the south and Long Island Sound to the north. The three men immediately turned the land over to the settlers who had already been living there.
George Bradford Brainerd. Street, Huntington, Long Island, May 1907. Collodion silver glass wet plate negative. Brooklyn Museum.
George Bradford Brainerd. Street, Huntington, Long Island, ca. 1872–1887. Collodion silver glass wet plate negative. Brooklyn Museum.
From that initial settlement, Huntington grew over subsequent years to include all of the land presently comprising the modern Towns of Huntington and Babylon. The southern part of the town was formally separated to create Babylon in 1872.
Because Huntington was populated largely by English settlers, unlike the rest of the New Amsterdam colony, the town voted in 1660 to become part of the Connecticut colony rather than remain under the authority of New Amsterdam. It was not until the British gained control of New Amsterdam in 1664 (renaming it New York) that Huntington was formally restored to the jurisdiction of New York.
Following the Battle of Long Island during the American Revolutionary War, British troops used Huntington as their headquarters, and remained encamped there until the end of the war.
The arrival of the Long Island Rail Road in 1867 transformed the economy of Huntington from primarily agriculture and shipping (based on its well protected harbor) to tourism and commuting. Cold Spring Harbor became a popular summer resort.
The end of World War II brought about an explosive growth of population in Huntington, as in the rest of the region. Farms and resorts gave way to homes, and Huntington has transformed into a major bedroom community for nearby New York City.
Census Pop. %±
1790 3,260 —
1800 3,894 19.4%
1810 4,424 13.6%
1820 4,935 11.6%
1830 5,582 13.1%
1840 6,562 17.6%
1850 7,481 14.0%
1860 8,924 19.3%
1870 10,704 19.9%
1880 8,098 −24.3%
1890 8,277 2.2%
1900 9,483 14.6%
1910 12,004 26.6%
1920 13,893 15.7%
1930 25,582 84.1%
1940 31,768 24.2%
1950 47,506 49.5%
1960 126,221 165.7%
1970 200,172 58.6%
1980 201,512 0.7%
1990 191,474 −5.0%
2000 195,289 2.0%
2010 203,264 4.1%
Est. 2016 203,236  0.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
Data source Population White Black Asian Native Americans Pacific Islanders Hispanic/Latino Other Two or more races
2000 Census 195,289 88.31% 4.22% 3.50% 0.13% 0.02% 6.58% 2.27% 1.55%
2010 Census 203,264 84.15% 4.68% 4.96% 0.20% 0.02% 11.00% 3.89% 2.10%
As of the census of 2000, there were 195,289 people, 65,917 households, and 52,338 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,078.4 people per square mile (802.5/km²). There were 67,708 housing units at an average density of 720.6 per square mile (278.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town in 2000 was 88.31% White, 4.22% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 3.50% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.27% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.58% of the population. As of the census of 2010, the racial makeup of the town was 84.15% White, 4.68% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 4.96% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.89% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.00% of the population.
There were 65,917 households out of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.6% were non-families. 16.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.26.
In the town, the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.4 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the town was $102,865, and the median income for a family was $113,119. Males had a median income of $61,748 versus $40,825 for females. The per capita income for the town was $36,390. About 2.9% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.1% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.